Ten years of unprecedented change: The evolution of the book industry

While the earliest known examples of books are Mesopotamian clay tablets and Egyptian papyrus rolls, experts agree that books as communications tools came into existence even earlier than that. And while books have changed over the centuries and an industry has grown around them, it’s safe to say the last ten years have seen some of the most significant changes.

When I look back, some clear trends emerge out of the past decade:

  • Creative nonfiction has gained popularity over fiction
  • Bookstores as physical places have grown sparser (but, I would argue, more important than ever)
  • Self-publishing has cemented its place in the industry while also changing it
  • And, of course, we’ve witnessed a significant shift to a digital marketplace—arguably the greatest revolution our industry has seen.

Let’s take a look back: In March-April 2010, Apple launched its iPad and iBookstore. Within two months, the company had taken 22%+ of the ebook market. That August, Amazon announced that its sale of ebooks had surpassed that of hardcover titles for the first time ever.

In terms of readership, in 2009, only 3% used ereaders. By 2010, the number grew from 15 to 40 million. In 2014, the percentage share is 15%. About five years down the line, it is projected that 50% of all readers will read on electronic devices. (More info here.) And we know from the Kids and Family Reading Report that the percent of children who have read an ebook has almost doubled since 2010 (25% vs. 46%).

Ebooks have great benefits—readers can achieve instant gratification by purchasing and owning a book within seconds! They have lower price points than physical books, and readers can find a bigger variety of titles online than they often can in physical stores. eBooks and print-on-demand capabilities have opened new doors for writers, too. (In Australia, book vending machines let users place an order and enjoy a coffee while their book gets delivered on the spot!)

For Scholastic, a 93-year-old institution, the history of books and the changes we’ve seen in the last decade to how we read and create them are strong reminders of what we’ve always known: that reading, no matter the format, is a way for humanity to connect, to communicate, to evolve and share and learn.

Whether you read on a tablet or on paper, whether you purchased it from the cloud or from your neighborhood store, the act of reading is still vital.   

 

 

Comments

The rise of ebooks means the end of hardcopy books. It means the end of bookshops and the end of libraries.
In the future there will be no profit to be had for publishing houses in producing hardcopy books. Therefore they will stop.

I prefer Ebook all the way. Printed books usually get worn and torn up. I can read easily on my phone or tablet. Easy to look up something for reference. Ebooks are cheaper than print.

I like the smell of paper and flipping the book with my fingers. I like reading print book for leisure and academic studies. However, when I need reference materials for work or study, I prefer e-books. I hope companies still print paperbacks as they are part of our culture

For old guys like me ,we still prefer paperbacks as they are convenient to read at leisure without worrying about battery of tablet.I just like holding my favourite printed books.They are like old friends.

Ebooks are easily and immediately accessible. In urgent situations,If you want specific information and it's available in a book, you can purchase an eBook and download it immediately. Instead of waiting for a printed book to be delivered, you can assess this information now.

In the age of technological revolution, Information changes rapidly today. Books on many subjects can become out dated very quickly. eBooks can be easily and quickly kept up to date. When you order an eBook, it can be the most up-to-the-minute information available.

Ebooks are cheaper and can be immediately downloaded.Most eBooks are sold with bonuses and related information that usually don't come with the purchase of a traditional book. You might pay the same or even a bit more for an eBook, but you usually get more, too.

The present generation needs immediate gratification.gratification. Incase of ebooks they can download them immediately after payment.I don't have patience to wait three days for the delivery of book.

What about the piracy?The authors and publishers will lose lot of money if the books get distributed on internet.

Yes,the piracy is already a large problem.How can the publishers ensure that authors get their money?It is very difficult to stop eBook piracy.

eBooks consume very less space.Instead of a bulky library, you can fit literally thousands of books on your computer. It also makes it easier to share this information with family and coworkers.

we can save trees and decrease environmental pollution when we use eBooks.eBooks use very few natural resources.

eBooks are easy way to access internet and get more information about the topic we are interested in .Easy links to Web sites and other references can be placed in an electronic book. While reading, you can click on hot links to other places to find out more. With the proliferation of wireless networks, this will become even more useful.

I vote for print Books.I hope they will continue printing traditional books.For me part of the joy of reading is the book itself, the texture, the smell, the weight, and with e readers, you just don’t get that.

I agree with you.With print books it’s grab and go– no need to worry about being miles away from electricity.

People with eye disabilities prefer eReaders.Most ebooks let you adjust the font size to your liking, you can have anything from huge and easy to read to super small which lead to less “page turning”. This is a great feature especially if reading small print is difficult for you. Some e-readers also let you change the color and font type to make the font easier on the eyes.

Iam a voracious reader and always hungry for new books.But I have limited budget.Often times eBooks are cheaper than there print counterparts, and many classics are even offered for free. This is great for saving money.

Printed Books are good for giving as gifts.They have more sentimental value.

I read both ways; but, printed books are my preference. I relish the smell and feel of a book in my hands. As long as people are reading, I'm good with either.

I'm team ebook. I love to read, and I can't remember too many books that were handed down to me by my mother. My Kindle means that I have every single book in the world at my fingertips... and that's pretty powerful.

Printed books will never be replaced, but my e reader came to my rescue as my eyesight deteriorated. I can make the print large enough to read, plus I love the dictionary at a touch, but I still love books, I just can't see them anymore.

used to think that I'd never stray from a physical book... But there's something to be said for being able to order a great new book and read it instantly! Not to mention, you can take your ebooks with you and read them just about anywhere.

I always loved paper books until I got my kindle. I have a book store at my fingertips and I love it. I also love the fact I can change font size if I need to.